Happy Thanksgiving!


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Image-1 2O Give Thanks….

Lately, more complaints have come out of my mouth than words of thanksgiving.

That’s not good.

As a Christian, I ought to be doing less complaining and more thanking. The Bible offers many  verses about giving thanks. Here are some,  with a few thoughts on what these Scriptures spoke to me in my season of complaints. I hope that God’s Word inspires you, as it did me, to focus on thankfulness:


“All circumstances” … ouch. This is a tough one to read. Really God? Even circumstances I don’t like? Pretty sure God is nodding his head yes.

Psalm 107:1 – Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

So comforting.

Ephesians 5:20 – Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:15-17 – And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


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Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

“with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Wow, this one really struck me. It’s okay to make my requests known…which I’ve been doing, but my requests have been anxious and not in the spirit of thanksgiving. Time to change my prayers of complaints to confident prayers of thanksgiving to God that He WILL help me and hear me.

2 Corinthians 9:15 -Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

Psalm 105:1 – Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!

I’ve not done much of this lately. He’s done so many good deeds in my life and I should always make them known.

Hebrews 12:28-29 – Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.


Psalm 28:7 -The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

Does my heart trust in him? Completely? I say I do, but if I did, wouldn’t my heart be filled with joy? I’ve really got to readjust my thinking.

Psalm 69:30 – I will praise the name of God with song, And shall magnify Him with thanksgiving.


Colossians 2:6-7 – Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

What a beautiful reminder.

Psalm 34:1 – I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.


Psalm 100:4 – Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name.

Jonah 2:9 – But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay Salvation is from the LORD.”

Ephesians 5:3-4 – But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

1 Timothy 4:4-5 – For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

Well, I’m humbled now. And am going to do my best to be more thankful. God is good. His mercy endures forever. Thank God it does. I’ve had a ungrateful heart lately…thank you Lord, for your mercy. Thank you Lord for EVERYTHING!

Happy Thanksgiving all.




Best Way for a Writer to Earn Extra Bucks!


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While waiting for the big bucks to roll in…the big bucks are starting to roll in!


Totally legit! And I’m getting healthy, too! Sitting most of the day writing, I totally needed this. #Winning


email me @ hjmichael@sbcglobal.net

Be a Philanthropist. Be Inspired. Give the Best Gift EVER!


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imagesDid you do the ice-bucket challenge for ALS? A great cause, for sure.

But…whether you took the challenge or not, here’s an amazing challenge for National Diabetes Awareness Month (November) that won’t give you a cold head. Instead, you’ll get a warm heart and an awesome personally autographed copy of a #1 Amazon Bestseller signed by a former NFL player. BOOM!  

Through the month of November, my son Jake is giving $1 to the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) or to Beyond Type One for each copy sold of his devotional book, FIRST AND GOAL – What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up.  


Awww…isn’t he cute? (I’m the mom, I can ask that, but he is cute, right?).

Anyway, Jake would love to personally sign any message in his devotional book to you or a loved one on your good list. An amazing Christmas gift, right? And if someone is on your bad list, maybe they need this book!

FFirst and GoalIRST AND GOAL is getting great reviews and has been trending as a #1 bestseller in several Amazon categories. So you have that….and you get a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart for helping the JDRF support a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. So hop down to the link below! We really want to give a big check to help support a cure for Type 1 Diabetes

LINK TO ORDER JAKE’S BOOK ($19.99) AND $1 GOES TO SUPPORT THE JDRF or BEYOND TYPE ONE (you pick). Go! Be A GIVER. SUPPORT A CURE. BE INSPIRED by this amazing devotional for anyone you know who needs to be encourage to #NeverGiveUp. 

Don’t know much about Type 1 Diabetes?  Well, you should. it’s National Diabetes Awareness Month, so below is information from getdiabetesright.org to make you more aware.

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And just in case you are still thinking about ordering an autographed copy of Jake’s book…do it. It’ll be the best gift under the tree! LINK TO ORDER JAKE’S BOOK ($19.99) AND $1 GOES TO SUPPORT THE JDRF or BEYOND TYPE ONE (you pick). 

Happy November!


The Monster Who Threw the Meanest Fastball


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UnknownWith the Kansas City Royals in the World Series and KC covered in blue, I was inspired to post a baseball story…about a couple of future NFL players back when they were just kids in little league.

From FIRST AND GOAL – What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up (Football Devotional)

Mike Backer – The QB of the defense. The Mike Backer is in charge of getting the entire defense set and the play called. The Mike Backer is normally the biggest and hardest hitting linebacker.

stock-photo-17761677-baseball-pitchBig Lee Ziemba stared me down from the T-ball mound. Lee, a future blue-chip offensive tackle, was one of the biggest humans I’d met in Arkansas. By the fifth grade, he stood more than six feet tall and threw the meanest fastball in Little League.

Stepping up to bat, I swallowed the lump in my throat. Lee wound up and unfurled the ball. Terror gripped me. The ball crushed me in the ribs and laid me out, gasping for breath. For a second I almost though I was moving toward the light.

After that game, I stood at the edge of the batter’s box and flinched every time the ball was pitched to me. I finished out the last few games and never stepped onto a baseball field again.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, and the mountains quake with their surging (Psalm 46:1-3).

Today, Lee Zeimba is an NFL offensive lineman. Back in the fifth grade, he was a monster who swung a mighty pitch that ended my baseball career. The Zimba fear factor changed me from a first baseman hitting home runs to a washed-up benchwarmer, cowering in the dugout while my mom fussed at the coach to put me in the game.

I wasn’t afraid of Lee though; he was my friend. We later became high school football teammates. Since, I’ve played against many Lee Ziemba types. We call them Mike Backers—big, hard-hitting linebackers. They can scare the life out of you. You have to face your fears and will yourself to take on those monsters on the football field.

Fear is useless. It makes you question yourself, your life, and your faith. Few things are more destructive.

Are you struggling with fear? Are you scared to take the next step in a job or a relationship? Are you afraid to make an important decision? Do the Mike Backers in your life seem too big to handle?

These are times to find strength in God’s Word. The Bible assures us that even if the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, we should not fear. God can give us courage and deliver us from fear before it grows as big as a crushingly powerful Mike Backer.


FiRST AND GOAL BY JAKE BYRNE – Jake Byrne grew up in Rogers, Arkansas. A type 1 diabetic since a teenager, he has since been proactive combating the disease and mentoring diabetic youth. He played football for the University of Wisconsin as a tight end, and went on to compete in the NFL. Originally an undrafted free agent who signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2012, he has also been a Houston Texan, Kansas City Chief, and San Diego Charger. Jake lives in Dallas with his wife, Emma, and two four-legged kids: Duke the Dogo Argentino and Yeti the Great Dane.

12016186_10156044039905635_176705038_oNOVEMBER IS DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH. Support the cause! Click here to purchase a copy of First and Goal. A percentage of proceeds go toward supporting Jake’s foundation, Type Won, to help kids with type 1 diabetes go to athletic camps. Want an autographed copy of FIRST AND GOAL? CLICK HERE!

Jake blogs at www.typewon.net. He can be reached through the following social media:

Facebook Page (Type Won): www.facebook.com/typewon1

Twitter: @sugarfreejb82

Instagram: Jakebyrne81

Email: typewonquestions@gmail.com

Not Falling for Mr. Pumpkin


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In his short devotional from First and Goal, my son Jake (former NFL player) shares about his pumpkin patch experience when he was five. Yes, I was embarrassed, but did I expect less from a kid who scoffed at the idea of the Easter Bunny at age three? Nope.

598660_10151457603074942_866131723_nDisguise Coverage: When the defense adjusts its coverage to trick the offense. The defense will align in one form of coverage and shift to another after the ball is snapped to prevent the offense from recognizing which type of coverage they are using. They usually switch their alignment and make you think they are going to do one thing when they are actually attempting something else.

imagesWhen I was five, my mom took my little sister and brother and me to a pumpkin patch. We met a crowd of kids talking to a pumpkin. Well, not exactly a pumpkin, but a four-foot round orange object with dark mesh covering the eye and mouth openings.

The scene did not sit right with me. I wanted to understand this odd pumpkin being, but I’d given up believing in the Easter Bunny at age four because I couldn’t fathom the idea of a six-foot-tall bunny who filled kids’ baskets with candy once a year. Rabbits don’t get that big. And talking pumpkins? No way. Didn’t fly with me.

That autumn day at the pumpkin patch, I took a step closer to Mr. Pumpkin. “You’re not really a pumpkin.”

Mr. Pumpkin chuckled low. “Why, sure I am, little boy.”

I asked him a lot of questions, like if he was a very short guy, or a kid that could fit inside the pumpkin, or a guy standing somewhere else and talking into a microphone. While I attempted to solve the pumpkin patch mystery, my mom tugged me away from the murmuring crowd. She frowned and said parents were upset because their kids actually believed in that orange dude. Apparently, I’d ruined the day for a few innocent, trusting children.

False messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect (Matthew 24:24).

From a young age I was a straight shooter who didn’t put up with nonsense. I didn’t like to be tricked even in fun. Though Mr. Pumpkin probably hadn’t engineered an evil plan to lead kids down a bad path, I felt it was better to recognize what was real and what wasn’t so I didn’t get tricked. That was my take back then. It still is today.

In football, the disguise coverage can trick us and throw us off. You have to be on your toes and aware. The same applies to all life situations. The wise recognize liars, false prophets, and false teachings. Maintaining spiritual insight keeps us on track with God’s plan.

Confused? Got questions? When in doubt, ask God, seek His wisdom, study Scripture, and talk to your pastor or a trusted Christian friend. But don’t be tricked, even if the rest of the crowd is lured into false teaching.

12016186_10156044039905635_176705038_oFirst and Goal

Jake Byrne dreamed of playing professional football. He had the size, the talent, the drive…but at age 14, he found out he also had type 1 diabetes. Still, Jake was determined to reach his goal. And God was determined to guide and empower him all along the way.

Jake’s journey to the NFL is the backdrop for this collection of inspiring devotions based on nearly a hundred football terms. Jake takes you to the weight room, practice field, and even across the goal line. You’ll feel as if you’re lined up next to him, facing a very large defender you’re about to take down. He also includes Scripture and then ties up each story in a way that feels real and encouraging. These quick daily readings will help you press through your own difficulties and experience God’s dream for you.

Jake Byrne grew up in Rogers, Arkansas. A type 1 diabetic since the age of fourteen, he has since been proactive combating the disease and mentoring diabetic youth. He played football for the University of Wisconsin as a tight end, and went on to compete in the NFL. Originally an undrafted free agent who signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2012, he has also been a Houston Texan, Kansas City Chief, and San Diego Charger. Currently, Jake and his wife Emma life in Dallas and have two furry kid–Yeti the Great Dane and Duke the Dogo Argentino.


Jake blogs at www.typewon.net

He can be reached through the following social media:

Facebook Page (Type Won): www.facebook.com/typewon1

Twitter: @sugarfreejb82

Instagram: Jakebyrne81

Email: typewonquestions@gmail.com

First and Goal, published through Harvest House Publishers, can be purchased at many books stores and online booksellers. Link for Book at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FAYKo8



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img_0979You will love this! Reposted here. A sweet story about teammates coming together. My son, Jake Byrne, Cody White (Texans), Ben Jones and Philip Supernaw, tight end for the Tennessee Titans. Behind the scenes brotherly love from teammates.

Source: HUDDLE!

Touchdown Dance!


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Touchdown Dance

Football Season is here!

One year ago today, after playing for four years as a tight-end for the Wisconsin Badgers, Jake scored his first touchdown in the NFL.


So proud of my son, a type 1 diabetic, who has overcome incredible odds and has grown up to be an amazing man, now married to the lovely Emma.

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Today, Jake has a book published by Harvest House Publishers: First and Goal – What Football Has Taught Me About Never Giving Up.

Ever want to know what goes on in the mind of a player when they score that first NFL touchdown…especially when they prepped for the touchdown dance? Here’s an excerpt from Jake’s devotional: First and Goal….

Touchdown Dance A player’s celebration of his touchdown catch in the end zone. Spiking the ball and some dance moves are allowed, but not other stuff the NFL deems as excessive celebration.

“Got your end zone show planned for your first touchdown?”

Seated on the couch in my San Diego apartment, I caught the football my brother Nick tossed to me. He’d come for a visit prior to our football camps—his as a Ragin Cajun tight end in college and mine as an NFL Chargers tight end.

“You gotta have swag and set your own style, you know. Like Terrell Owens when he carried a sharpie in his sock, signed the ball, and threw it to the fans.”

“That’s illegal now.” Football in hand, I leaped off the couch. “How about this?” I busted out in a smooth dance move and then spiked the ball.

“Too complicated.” Nick laughed. “Too bad you’re not playing for the Packers. It’d be easy to do the Lambeau Leap into the stands. Just don’t be a copycat and do the dirty bird or pretend to make a cell phone call. Those are done.”

Coached by Nick, I perfected a simple but signature dance move.

A couple of months later, during the second preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, at the end of the fourth quarter, Coach called a time-out and the play that would send me into the end zone to catch a touchdown pass. The play down, the end zone dance in my head, I geared up for my big moment.

Everything went as planned. I released as if to block and the defense took the fake hook, line, and sinker. I was unaccounted for. In this preseason game, the Seahawks had me marked only as a blocker. I ran my route as Kellen Clemens lobbed the ball toward me.

Perfect catch!


Stunned and in awe, I froze. Zach Boren, a teammate who was also with me on the Texans, jumped all over me. Everyone was hopping up and down, attacking me. I thanked God and looked at the ball. Still in my hands.

Signature dance move! Gotta do it.

It was too late. I couldn’t remember the moves Nick taught me. I tried a sorry attempt of a power spike and ran off the field. Still flying high and flustered, I forgot to run out for the next play. If not for the two-minute warning, I would have received a penalty.

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah” (Matthew 17:1-4).

I had the sequence planned out for my touchdown, but stunned and caught up in the moment like Peter, I forget my end zone dance. Only the glory of the moment mattered.

Standing before the Son of God, Elijah (a great prophet), and Moses (the law-giver), Peter wanted to build a tent and stay, not realizing the moment would be fleeting. I understand that. Entranced in my moment of glory and overpowered by the immensity of the experience, I didn’t want to leave the field.

Peter’s amazing experience was so much greater than my touchdown moment, but definitely both were moments in which God blessed us. During times in your life where God’s grace is evident, revel in the moment and thank Him, but don’t forget that when the moment ends you have to get back to reality to avoid a penalty.


My youngest son, Nick, just starts his football season with the Ragin Cajuns at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Proud of both of my sons and my lovely daughter, Betsy, who is studying and teaching at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. All amazing kids who have grown up to be superb adults. #Proudmomof3 

11709758_10204379746803993_808037302279955618_nJake’s book is available through most booksellers. Online at Amazon http://amzn.to/1FAYKo8

Brotherly Love


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One of my favorite devotions from my son Jake’s book (an A-Z football devotional) – FIRST AND GOAL – What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up

Position – Eleven players from each team are on the field at a time, and each player has a position, role, and responsibility to complete the offense, defense, or special teams.

I am a firstborn. My little brother, Nick, five years younger than me, was the last addition to the gang. In his baby years, he was happiest in one position–cradled in my lap, watching the screen as I played video games. At first it was a pain, but I got used to playing with him.


Playing video games with Nick.

My favorite games were Madden sports games. It wasn’t long before Nick’s position changed. He soon sat beside me, holding his own controller. Later, he was a real competitor, learning the football positions and eventually becoming a formidable challenger.

At age 17 I zipped up my suitcase, ready to leave for college.

“Let’s play one more game before you go.” Nick wiped a tear on his sleeve.

I took my position on the floor with Nick beside me. He beat me. I didn’t even let him. Soon the game ended. The hardest thing about leaving for college was watching my little brother tear up when I said my final goodbye.

While I was in college, I got a call from Nick. “Hey, I’m with my friends, playing you on Madden NCAA 2012.”

By that time I was actually in the college football video game, and he was proud to be picking me as a player. “Give me extra strength,” I said. “Pump up my muscles.”

“Right now I’m giving you a really huge butt and little chicken legs.”

Chuckles came through the phone.

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another (Romans 12:10 nkjv).

Through the laughter I could hear Nick’s pride and love. When he was a kid, he’d sometimes drive me nuts always wanting to hang out with me and my friends, but I had done my best to bring him into my world. It’s what a big brother should do. Most of my friends were cool with Nick hanging out with us.

Now when we get together, I want to spend all my free time hanging out with Nick and his friends.

Nick and his teammate Daniel Cadona.

Nick and his teammate Daniel Cadona.

He’s also a football player, a tight end. Same position I played through high school, college, and into the NFL.


Nick, a Ragin’ Cajun @ The University of Louisiana – Lafayette

There’s nothing like having a brother, especially one like Nick. God says to give preference to one another. That means putting that person first, be it a brother or one who is like a brother to you. The paybacks are great.


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Sister Betsy and Nick

With Nick at a college football camp, giving him a few pointers while I was with the New Orleans Saints.

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Nick, sister Betsy


So proud of my kiddos, Jake, Betsy and Nick and so pleased that they are all the best of friends–from childhood to adulthood. First and GoalThe devotional above is an excerpt from Jake’s Book, FIRST AND GOAL – WHAT FOOTBALL TAUGHT ME ABOUT NEVER GIVING UP, now available from most all booksellers. Published by Harvest House Publishers 

Bio for Jake: Jake Byrne grew up in Rogers, Arkansas. A type 1 diabetic since the age of fourteen, he has since been proactive combating the disease and mentoring diabetic youth. He played football for the University of Wisconsin as a tight end, and went on to compete in the NFL. Originally an undrafted free agent who signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2012, he has also been a Houston Texan, Kansas City Chief, and San Diego Charger.

Jake blogs at www.typewon.net.

Facebook Page (Type Won): www.facebook.com/typewon1

Twitter: @sugarfreejb82

Instagram: Jakebyrne81

Email: typewonquestions@gmail.com

First and Goal Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/FirstAndGoalTypeWon


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